Wendy Gladney

Growing up as a child, I really enjoyed this time of year. As much as I enjoy the festivities of the holiday season, I’ve never been caught up in the commercialism of Christmas. I certainly do my share of gift giving and decorating my home; but overall, I try to stay focused on the true meaning of the season, which is to celebrate the birth of Christ. In my grandmother’s home, growing up we didn’t have a lot of gifts, but we had a lot of love. Love is what we were told to share, both internally as a family as well as externally to others – especially during this time of year.

As I sit in the quietness of the moment, I wonder what Jesus would think about how we celebrate His own birth? Do people still believe that “Jesus is the reason for the season,” or has that sentiment been lost? I do understand that not everyone is a Christian and therefore may not connect Jesus with Christmas. But when we stop to think about it, the name of the holiday (holy-day) contains the name of CHRIST. I completely understand that the “holidays” encompass several different traditions and religious beliefs, which I respect. But CHRISTmas, specifically, is in celebration of the birth of Christ.

I thought about what it would be like to interview Jesus and ask Him what he thinks of how Christmas is celebrated today. It is definitely different than what we learn from Bible stories of the first Christmas, when He was born in a manager, wrapped in swaddling clothing. He lived on this earth for only 33 years and His ministry lasted for only approximately three years, but the impact of His life has stood the test of time from generation to generation. I believe Jesus would be more concerned how we show compassion, grace, mercy and love towards our fellow, man rather than getting caught up in hoopla and consumerism.

Most of my life, I always heard about how Jesus was the exemplary demonstration of love. He showed this by healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding the hungry and caring for the homeless. And in an ultimate expression of love, He gave His life for all of us so we could have eternal life. With this in mind, I believe the best way to celebrate Christ’s birthday, is to give the gift He so freely gave – love. As we go about hanging lights on our homes and trees this year, let’s not forget about the One who came to be the light of the world. Let’s not be afraid to share this hope during a time when many feel hopeless. Be light. Be love.

Ram Dass said, “Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.”

From our house to yours, we hope you are surrounded by love and light this Season. Merry Christmas!

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker.